In our continued effort to encourage the White House to foster a change in its treatment of the Iranian American community, AIA joined a number of prominent ethnic, religious, human and civil rights organizations in sending a letter to President Bush, asking him to eliminate the Special Registration.
This letter, an original copy of which is attached (and shown below) was sent yesterday. Please kindly take a minute to read it.
In our continued effort to educate the public about the Iranian American community, we also participated in NPR's California Report. Please take a listen to this fine program, which sheds a very favorable light on the Iranian American community, and encourage all your friends to listen to it to understand us better. Please go to www.AllianceIA.org, and click on the "Listen (segment)."
January 13, 2003
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Dear Mr. President:
We, the undersigned ethnic, religious, human and civil rights organizations write to express our concern with the INS's "Special Registration Program." Our organizations are committed to working with America's leaders to enhance our security. We stand united in doing all we can to help make our nation safer. The United States has the fundamental right to maintain pertinent data on those who visit our nation on a temporary basis. However, the "Special Registration Program" is flawed in both design and implementation, and will not enhance our security
The Special Registration program appears to target people based on national origin, race and religion, rather than on intelligence information. With the exception of North Korea, all the countries in the program are predominantly Arab or Muslim. Moreover, the recent addition and subsequent removal of Armenia from the list of countries raises even more questions about the criteria and process by which countries are included in the list. To make matters worse, the registration process is being wrongly applied. Instead of identifying terrorists, the INS in some local offices is using the special registration procedure to identify and detain people who are on the path to permanent residency.
Not only is the call-in registration program ill-conceived, it also is being ineffectively implemented. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not given the INS the staff, resources, and guidance necessary to do this job, and has not effectively disseminated information about the program. In fact, the INS/DOJ did not even issue a press release or post information about program requirements until December 6, only ten days before the December 16 deadline.
This program should be eliminated. Failing that, given the conditions referenced above, we urge the following:
Given the gravity of the current situation, we will be contacting your office to request a meeting on this and related issues.
National Organizations Alliance of Iranian Americans(AIA) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) American Immigration Lawyers Association(AILA) American Immigration Law Foundation(AILF) American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) American Arab Institute(AAI) Catholic Charities, USA Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law Center for National Security Studies (CNSS) Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS) Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Defending Immigrants Partnership Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) Immigration & Refugee Services of America (IRSA) International Rescue Committee (IRC) Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR) Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) National Asian Pacific AmericanLegal Consortium (NAPALC) National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) National Council of La Raza (NCLR) National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) National Immigration Forum National Immigration Law Center(NILC) National Iranian American Council Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Presbyterian Church,U.S.A.,Washington Office Salvadoran American National Network (SANN) Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force(SMART) United Methodist Committee on Relief (GBGM)
Regional, State, and Local Organizations American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey(Newark, NJ) Arab Community Center Economic andSocial Services(ACCESS)(Dearborn, MI) American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, LA Chapter (Los Angeles, CA) Asian Law Alliance(San Jose, CA) Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County(Santa Clara, CA) Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services(San Jose, CA) Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services (Washington, DC) Central American Resource Center(Los Angeles, CA) Fellowship of Reconciliation LA/OC Chapter (Los Angeles, CA) Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) (Miami, Florida) Haitian Community Service Center Of Atlanta(Decatur, GA) Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington(Seattle, WA) Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights (Chicago, IL) Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights(Chicago, IL) Immigrant and Refugee Project, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (Washington, D.C.) International Institute of New Jersey(Jersey City, NJ) Lahore Foundation, Inc. (Burtonsville, MD) Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, San Francisco(San Francisco, CA) Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition(MIRA) (Boston, MA) Mexican American Bar Association of Los AngelesCounty (MABA) (Los Angeles, CA) Mexican American Bar Association of Ventura County(Oxnard, CA) Midsouth Peace and Justice Center (Memphis, TN) Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center of Heartland Alliance (Chicago, IL) Nashville Kurdish Forum (Nashville, TN) Northwest Federation of Community Organizations (Seattle, WA) Philadelphia Arab American Community Development Corporation (Philadelphia, PA) Public Counsel (Los Angeles, CA) Somali Family Care Network (SFCN)(Falls Church, VA) South Asian Network(Artesia, CA) Tahirih Justice Center (TJC) (Falls Church, VA) Washington Defenders Immigration Project (Seattle, WA)
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